Increment of association
The increment-of-association, a term coined by engineer C.H. Douglas, meaning simply that when we combine our efforts we can do more than the sum of what each of us could do seperately. Five people acting synergetically together can lift a small modern car, but if each of the five tries separately, the car will not budge. As society evolved from tiny bands, to larger tribes, to federations of tribes, to city-states, to nations, to multinational alliances, the increment-of-association increased exponentially. A stone-age hunting band could not build the Parthenon; a Renaissance city-state could not put Neil Armstrong on the Moon. When the increment-of-association increases, through larger social units, doing-more-with-less becomes increasingly possible.
Open collaboration, empowered by digital communication, enables the greatest possible social unit: all mankind. A social unit of billions of people can do things that are otherwise impossible: creating Wikipedia, writing a comprehensive open education syllabus, or compiling the world's medical knowledge into a single computer program.
It is estimated that by 2020, 5 billion people will be connected together on the Internet. Such a coming-together of intelligence is totally unprecedented, and will surely yield solutions to many of our current problems.